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Practice Pointers - Managing Expectations

Have you ever had that nightmare where you forgot about a deadline or had two things due at the same time and only managed to finish one? And then you woke up panicked, drenched in sweat, right before the climactic scene in which a partner hurls a series of expletives (and maybe even a stapler) at you? No? Not yet? Well, let’s be sure to keep it that way. One thing they don’t teach you in law school is how to manage expectations when you’re in the real world. That’s more of a “learn as you go and figure it…

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Practice Pointers – Investing in Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I couldn’t let these 31 days go by without addressing mental health and the practice of law. So here I am anxiously asking myself what I want to say at 8:41 pm on Sunday, May 31. (Full credit goes to my generalized anxiety disorder for this latest installment of “Natasha psyched herself out and procrastinated yet again even though she knows she shouldn’t.”) It would be the understatement of the year to say that lawyers suffer from a mental health and substance abuse epidemic. ALM’s most recent Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey…

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FREE Virtual Bar Exam Summit - June 5-7, 2020

Bar exam prep sucks. There’s nothing else to say about it. It just sucks. And now, given the pandemic, there are the added questions of when various state bar exams will happen, how bar exam prep timing will change, and oh yes, whether licensure delays will impact your job prospects. Awesome sauce. Well, I have some good news. A former Ms. JD Writer in Residence is on a mission to make bar prep more bearable and effective, especially in what is sure to go down in history as the strangest year ever to take a bar exam. Her name? Kerriann…

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Practice Pointers – Drafting an Effective Resume

Let’s get right to it. For most, resume writing isn’t the sexiest of drafting tasks. But it’s a necessary one. And in what’s become a rapidly tighter job market, you know it’s better to go ahead and tackle that dreaded task now. As Eminem wisely wrote: Look If you had One shot Or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted Would you capture it Or just let it slip? Pretty sure he wasn’t talking about resume writing, but he might as well have been. Your resume is your first impression, your one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you…

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Practice Pointers – Finding Your Tribe

March 2020 has been… rough. Uncertainty abounds, and Tiger King reigns supreme. Zoom is no longer just something my dog does when she’s got way too much energy. Life’s surreal right now. Very surreal. I’ve been doing my best to get through each day without a mental breakdown, and some days have been especially tough with incessant fears and tears. But this isn’t a post about my anxiety. It’s about what’s been helping me navigate this upside-down world we’re living in: the people in my life. In the past, I’ve rolled my eyes at all the “find your tribe and…

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Practice Pointers - Communicating Your Value

When I was on dating apps, my profile said I worked at “Yet Another Law Firm.” I thought it was cheeky at the time. But now that I’m a legal recruiter, I’ve realized that what I thought was a funny joke is unfortunately how so many lawyers very seriously brand themselves. How many of you have seen or have a LinkedIn profile that reads something like this? "Associate/Attorney at XYZ [firm/company/agency/nonprofit]." I.e., “yet another lawyer” at “yet another place.” As lawyers, we spend long days and nights advocating for and advising others. We get entrenched in minute details to provide…

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Practice Pointers - Avoiding a Haphazard Career

Some lawyers always knew they wanted to go to law school. Some went because they didn’t go to medical school (me) or didn’t know what else to do after college (also me). But either way, we all spent our academic years crushing it so we’d have bright careers ahead of us. And then we finally get there – the pinnacle of success that is the oh-so-coveted first real lawyer job. And it’s hard. And we’re working a ton, trying to get through the literal and figurative motions of day-to-day lawyer life. First year goes by, then the second, and so…

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The number one piece of career advice I’ve received? “Can’t hurt, might help.”

“Can’t hurt, might help.” That’s what the partner I was working with said to me when I was a year or so into my big law career. The context? I can’t quite recall. But insert your situation of choice, and I promise you, those four words can work wonders. Deceptively simple, “can’t hurt, might help” has the extraordinary ability to silence the naysayers that live in my mind. You know the ones – they tell you you’re not smart enough or that the question you want to ask is stupid. And they get louder and more deafening right when you…

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